In conversation with Tapper and Jeff Lanza, a fellow retired FBI Special Agent, Turner provided commentary and insider insight into the FBI’s handling of sexual abuse cases. Earlier in the day, prominent U.S. gymnasts testified about their experiences with former USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Maggie Nichols, Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney all spoke before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary as part of the investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Nassar sexual abuse case.
The FBI’s conduct in the Nassar is under investigation because of its mishandling of the case and delayed response to acting on sexual abuse allegations. In a July 14 report, the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Inspector General found that the FBI “failed to interview in a timely manner victims who alleged that [Nassar] had molested them,” according to an NBC News article. Specifically, the report pointed to “fundamental errors” made by the FBI’s Indianapolis field office. Michael Langeman and Jay Abbott, two former agents at the field office, lied to the inspector general’s office about their actions in investigating the sexual abuse allegations. NBC News confirmed that Langeman was fired in a September 15 article; Abbott “retired several years ago.”
The gymnasts’ September 15 testimonies elaborates on what they endured because of the FBI’s incompetence. They also address the fact that the FBI’s failure to thoroughly investigate the Nassar case left many girls vulnerable to his horrific acts.
On The Lead with Jake Tapper, Turner discussed how the failure to investigate sexual abuse cases is an institutional problem. “They’re just not interested in doing that kind of work,” Turner says regarding FBI agents working on sexual abuse cases.
Jane Turner, a retired FBI special agent, on the FBI's mishandling of sex abuse by Larry Nassar: "As most agents say, directors come and go, but his executive staff is going to stay forever. And the culture has got to change. The culture there is not good." pic.twitter.com/XVVoJjsHyT
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) September 15, 2021
When she was working for the FBI on an Indian reservation in North Dakota in the late 1990s, Turner blew the whistle on the cover-up of sexual crimes against children that Special Agents were trying to pass off as traffic accidents. Turner spent 25 years at the FBI in total and was removed from her position in an act of whistleblower retaliation. She has since become a staunch whistleblower advocate. Thus, she expressed to Tapper and Lanza that she blew the whistle on the same sort of issue 20 years ago.
Turner said that FBI Director Christopher Wray’s statement during the hearing was “full of platitudes.” She remarked, “”As most agents say, directors come and go, but his executive staff is going to stay forever. And the culture has got to change. The culture there is not good.”
“My sympathy, my heart goes out to these victims,” Turner said in the interview.
Turner previously commented on the Nassar case: in a July 21 article for Rolling Stone, she talked about how this case “is part of a pattern of shortcomings in the FBI’s treatment of child sex abuse cases. She also provided her assessment of why the FBI continually fails in investigations into those matters,” previous WNN reporting states.